After a lovely drive southwest through County Cork, we found the village of Skibbereen, where the buildings are as colorful as the flowers crowded into every window box. Later that evening, we set out for nearby Lough Hyne, the only inland saltwater lake in Europe and a marine nature reserve beloved by biologists and by kayaker Jim Kennedy, who leads nighttime excursions onto the water. While we zipped into waterproof jumpsuits, Kennedy told us the mysteries of Lough Hyne. Despite years of intense research, scientists still don't know why its sea life is so similar to that of the far-away Mediterranean or why the water is so much warmer than the Atlantic that feeds it. As dusk ceded to darkness, we launched our kayaks onto the lake. -- Colleen Dunn Bates Read more: Skibbereen, Ireland on a wing and a prayer Pictured: A flower-lined street in Skibbereen.
Colleen Dunn Bates